How Does Spandex Work? Understanding the Science Behind it

Understanding the Science Behind Spandex

Spandex, lycra or elastane is an elastic fiber, which is a artificial polymer. The material has great elasticity and can be stretched up to 500% of its original length.

How Does Spandex Work?

Spandex material has two types of threads in it. One of them is called spandex thread, which is made of synthetic elastomer called polyurethane. These threads are woven into fabrics along with other fibers such as cotton, nylon or even silk to make workout clothing and other garments that require extra stretch and comfort.

The other type of thread used in spandex clothing is the warp thread. This thread is made from natural fibers such as wool or rayon or synthetic fibers like nylon, acrylic and polyester. They are arranged in a grid-like pattern to form the base for weaving the spandex threads. Usually these threads are less stretchy than the spandex threads and give strength to the fabric. They also help retain the shape of the garment when it is not being worn.

Spandex is a very common and most used material, especially in sportswear. It is the main component of Spiderman costumes, swimwear and other sportswear. Although spandex is extensively used in sportswear, the reason why it is preferred over other types of fabric still remains a mystery to many people.

Spandex has been around since 1958 when it was first introduced by DuPont. The original name of this fabric was Lycra which was later changed to spandex. Spandex is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer which allows it to be stretched repeatedly without tearing apart.

Spandex comes in different densities and thicknesses. Higher density spandex may have more power to resist stretching but will be less comfortable as compared to lower density spandex.

Following are some reasons why Spandex is such a popular fabric:


Spandex, also known as elastane, is a synthetic fiber that was invented in 1958. It is known for its exceptional elasticity and is stronger and more durable than natural rubber. It is a polyurethane-polyurea copolymer that was invented in the laboratories of DuPont de Nemours, Inc., by chemist Joseph Shivers. Although very similar to latex, it has no rubber particles in it; instead it is made of entirely synthetic material. It was first sold under the brand name Lycra but has since been sold to Invista (a subsidiary of Koch Industries), who changed the name to spandex or elastane.

Spandex is an anagram for expands. Spandex fibers are produced in four different ways: melt extrusion, reaction spinning, solution dry spinning, and solution wet spinning. After spandex is produced, it’s usually mixed with other materials such as cotton or polyester to produce fabrics such as denim or jersey cloth.


Spandex fibers are made up of extremely long molecules (polymers) that are created by attaching many smaller molecules together chemically. These long molecules have so many bonds between them that

First, let’s start with the basics. Spandex is a synthetic fiber known for its exceptional elasticity. It is stronger and more durable than natural rubber. It was invented in 1959 by DuPont chemist Joseph Shivers. The chemical name is polyurethane-polyurea copolymer.

Originally called Fiber K, it was soon renamed to Lycra, and then later to spandex in the USA (it is still marketed under the Lycra brand name in Europe).

Spandex is generally used as a substitute for rubber, particularly for athletic wear such as swimwear and cycling shorts. Spandex has a very low density so it does not weigh much compared to other fabrics. For example, regular cotton has a density of 1.5 g/cm3 while spandex has only 0.42 g/cm3. In fact, spandex can stretch up to five times its length!

Spandex works by absorbing energy when stretched and releasing it when you relax the fabric again. The type of energy that is absorbed or released is known as strain energy, which can be thought of as energy stored in a spring when you compress or stretch it out. When you relax the fabric again, this strain

This high elasticity allows for unlimited freedom of movement. The fabric also has good moisture management, which is why it’s so popular in sportswear. It can quickly pull the sweat away from the body and dry it off very quickly.

Spandex is a synthetic material, which is made out of chemicals. More specifically, spandex is a polymer that has long flexible chains of atoms. These chains are called polyurethane, and they are made up of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen.

Polymers have long chains that contain repeating units called monomers. In the case of spandex, the monomer is a chemical compound called polyurethane. It’s these monomers that give the fiber its stretchiness and strength. Typical spandex fibers contain more than 85 percent polyurethane; other fibers in the mix include nylon and polyester to increase durability.

The fabric was patented in 1958 by DuPont as Lycra, but have since become genericized trademarks that are used to refer to all fabrics containing spandex fiber.

The Spidey suits in the movies are made from kevlar, a material that is used in bulletproof vests. The fibers are woven into a tight weave and help to absorb impact. In addition, they will not rip or tear very easily.

The underlayer of the suit is made of spandex. Spandex is an elastic polymer material. Spandex can be stretched up to 500% of its original length before it breaks. And then it springs back to its original shape after being released.

What makes the material so unique? The answer is polyurethane, which is made up of long chain-like molecules called repeating units that are linked together by urethane bonds. This gives the material its elasticity or stretchability. It also has high strength and low weight and was first invented by DuPont chemists in 1958.

The spandex fiber is made of polyurethane, which is a polymer or a long molecular chain. This polymer is also known as elastane in the textile industry. Spandex fiber manufacturers use a liquid chemical mixture to make long threads of this polymer. The polyurethane material goes through a lot of processes to produce spandex fabric. The production process starts with the polyurethane’s base monomer, which is diisocyanate and diol. These are combined together to form small polyester chains with urethane links. This chemical reaction creates a very viscous fluid that’s called solution polymer.

The next step involves stretching the viscous fluid solution in an area where there’s no air. This process is called melt spinning, which solidifies the solution into fine fibers that are then wound into large spools and cooled down so they can be woven into yarns later on. Once the fibers have been spun, they are stretched lengthwise – this process produces long threads that have great elasticity and strength in them. These thread-like materials are then woven together to create stretchable fabrics like lycra spandex and other types of spandex material used for making swimwear

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